Established in 1889, the Women and Families Center (WFC) has been providing high quality programming to our communities, currently including Meriden, Middlesex County, Wallingford, Cheshire and Greater New Haven, for more than 100 years. The WFC mission is to promote equity and quality of life through services that foster empowerment and independence.
WFC provides outreach and transitional housing services for youth experiencing housing instability; crisis intervention and counseling services for sexual assault victims; enriched after school programming with an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; vocational training and job placement assistance for low income men, women and youth; and operates the 24 hour sexual assault hot line for Central Connecticut. About 3000 clients are served each year.
Brief Summary of the Organization's History
WFC began as the YWCA of Meriden.The agency provided daycare and a variety of recreational and social activities for women and children in a small number of surrounding communities. In 2000, due to constraints related to governance and programmatic priorities, the agency disaffiliated from the national YWCA and became the WFC. Today it is a multi-service human service agency service Middlesex and New Haven Counties.
Programs include school age programs, sexual assault crisis services, outreach and transitional housing options for young adults and employment and training for low income youth and adults. Core competencies in service delivery include the provision of intensive case management, counseling, advocacy, training and education, and outcomes management.
Description of Current Programs
REACH (Reaching Every Adolescent to Create Hope)
REACH provides outreach, case management, crisis intervention, transitional housing, psycho- educational groups and academic enhancement to youth ages 18-24. The goal of the program is to empower young adults to make choices in the best interest of their safety, well-being, and future selves. Our case managers partner with each young person to facilitate the attainment of an array of personal resources, transition youth to safe and stable housing; connect young adults to adult-education or post-secondary education or vocational training; help young adults to foster permanent, supportive connections; and improve their social and emotional well-being.
SACS (Sexual Assault Crisis Service)
Sexual Assault Crisis Services offers 24-hour crisis intervention services to survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones. Caring, trained professionals provide an array of services including short-term counseling, accompaniment to the hospital and through the criminal justice system, support groups and referrals. Some survivors struggle to get through daily
activities. Counselors work with each person to identify the skills that will help alleviate some of stressors that they are feeling. Our team empowers clients to reclaim power and control and find a sense of safety and security in their lives.
STAR Before and After School Program
Enrichment program which combines Science, Technology, Art and Recreation in ways that develop team building, problem solving strategies and critical thinking. School age children attending three Meriden area elementary schools are engaged in a safe and fun environment during before and after school hours. Through creative, staff-led enrichment activities, field trips, and special guest presenters, our students have the opportunity to explore conventional classroom topics in an electrifying way, proving to themselves that learning can be fun.
Open DOHR (Developing Opportunities in Human Resources)
The Open DOHR employment training program serves individuals who are unemployed, underemployed, or lacking the necessary skills to compete in today's job market. Open DOHR uses a comprehensive approach that focuses on the development of the whole person. Youth and adults are equipped with the knowledge and skills to confidently pursue and successfully attain their education and employment goals. Open DOHR specializes in providing holistic, intensive case management designed to identify logistical, social-emotional, financial and educational barriers to obtaining self-sufficiency and provide necessary resources to reduce or eliminate these barriers and empower individuals to achieve their goals.